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The Last Dance: American bar 'dream team' reunite for one-off session in support of hospitality industry

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 28/09/2020 David Ellis
a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Evening Standard

Three of the biggest names in cocktailing – two of whom left their jobs as a result of Covid-19 – are reuniting for a one-off day of drinks which hopes to raise both funds and awareness of the hospitality industry's pandemic-induced plight.

The Savoy's former director of bars Declan McGurk will lead The Last Dance on October 15 at rooftop bar 12th Knot, which sits a dozen storeys up at Sea Containers on the Southbank. Joining him for for the day will the the most recent head bartender of the hotel's famous American bar, Maxim Schulte, and his predecessor Erik Lorincz, who now runs the acclaimed Kwānt. In 2017, the American bar under Lorincz and McGurk was named the best in the world and all three working together offers something of a "Savoy dream team" to the bar's fans.

It will be the first time the three have mixed drinks together for the public, and demand is already high; the first wave of tickets has already sold out, though a second phase will go on sale at 9am this Friday, October 2. The event, organised by the Global Bartending Talent Agency, is part of London Cocktail Week – this year actually a month – and can be bought here. Bookings will last two hours, with sessions running at midday, 2.30pm, 5pm and 7.30pm. Backed by William Grant & Sons UK and The London Essence Company, expect plenty of whisky-based mixes on the menu.

A £50 (£25 for trade) ticket price includes all drinks, and £10 of every ticket sold will go to the Drinks Trust, which offers support and care to those working, or who have worked, across the drinks industry.

Bars have been particularly hard hit by Covid-19, and the new 10pm curfew is likely to only amplify this – the majority of London's bars are facing at least a two-hour loss of trading, while some dedicated-late night businesses will lose up to six hours of service. This weekend, late-night spots in Soho and Shoreditch reported that takings were down by as much as 60 per cent. It's hoped London Cocktail Week can help rally the industry at a time when it's needed most.

Among those bars participating in this year's event, which offers £6 cocktails at some of the city's best bars, are the Artesian at the Langham, Tayer & Elementary, the London Shuffle Club, Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, Swift Shoreditch, Burlock and Lyaness.

For more information about The Last Dance with Declan & Co, head to this page. For more about London Cocktail Week, head to this page.

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